A brief history on the life of Edgar Allen Poe

Published by Hasan Mansoor on

It was January 19, 1809, when the world was blessed with Edgar Allan Poe. He was born in Massachusetts, Boston. According to IMDB, Poe’s biological parents were David Poe Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe (IMDB.com). At the age of three, Edgar became an orphan and was adopted by John and Frances Allan. Edgar’s foster father was a rich tobacco exporter and was easily able to finance his education and did not hesitate to send him to a posh boarding school. While he did excel in his academics, he was forced to drop out as his foster father refused to finance him further when he learned of his gambling debts.

According to The Raven Society, Poe was forced into gambling because he did not receive adequate funds from his home to afford his studies (alg.alumni.virginia.edu). Being an honor student, he was adamant about pursuing and finishing his studies one way or another, and this is how he started gambling. Although Poe was remarkably intelligent, his luck took a turn for the worse as, soon enough, he amassed a debt of over $2,000. After finding out what his child had gotten into, John refused to help him in this regard and would not further fund his literary venture. Seeing no other option, Poe agonizingly went back and never returned to university.

After failing to reconstruct his relationship with John, Edgar joined the army in 1827, and this was also the year in which he produced some marvelous writing: Tameriane and Other Poems, according to Poets (Poets.org). At the time of writing, none of his pieces received the praise they deserved. Soon after, he dropped out of the army due to financial constraints. From here, he moved in with his aunt and became an editor at Southern Literary Messenger. In 1836, he married his aunt’s daughter, Virginia. He adored his marriage, and in the next ten years, he went on to produce a number of poems and short stories that enabled him to garner the fame he has to this day. The Fall of The House of Usher, The Raven, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue are just some of the works that turned him into a sensation. These writings would establish him as an architect of short stories, and his style of writing is still seen as an inspiration for modern authors.

In 1847, Virginia succumbed to tuberculosis, and Edgar was unable to recover from his broken heart afterward. His alcoholism worsened and had a great impact on his health. On September 27, 1849, Poe left Richmond and was presumably on his way to Philadelphia. Until October 3, his journey is very vague as there are barely any witnesses in his last days. According to Sarah Pruitt, Poe was discovered in a Baltimore bar in a very drunken state by a friend of his and was immediately provided medical help from another acquaintance. After being taken to a hospital, Poe did not show any signs of improvement and soon passed away (History.com).

Poe’s death is still as much of a mystery as it was when he died. There is a lack of a death certificate, and the cause of death is reported to be some sort of congestion in the brain, which is linked to rabies in some reports. Edgar Allen Poe breathed his last breath on October 7, 1849, and the world lost an incredibly talented composer along with.

Resources used:

Edgar Allen Poe

The Raven Society

How did Edgar Allen Poe die?


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